The Barnes & Noble vs Amazon War Continues

(I am writing this on my phone so forgive the lack of nice formatting)

Barnes & Noble announced today that they will not stock books published under Amazon’s  imprints in their brick and mortar stores, though they will still be available online. This includes books released by the new New Harvest, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that many thought would be Amazon’s ticket to selling their books in Barnes & noble’s stores.

Jamie Carey, B&N’s chief merchandising officer, is quoted as saying, “Barnes & Noble has made a decision not to stock Amazon published titles in our store showrooms. Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent. These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain e-books to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content. It’s clear to us that Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner to Barnes & Noble as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self interest.”

This follows their August announcement that they will not sell print books published by Amazon unless it could also sell the e-book versions.

Does this effect Create Space books or only the Amazon Publishing imprints? While I’m not sure if any authors publishing with Create Space (and paying for extended distribution) had their books “stocked” at a B&N store, I know that a customer could order the book through them, but will that stop now? Is this why the expanded distribution rules have suddenly changed? Or was that just another move by Amazon to discourage expanded distribution and pull in more exclusivity?

Do you think this move will hurt Amazon’s authors, or do you think it will backfire and hurt Barnes & Noble instead?


12 thoughts on “The Barnes & Noble vs Amazon War Continues

  1. Ruth Ann Nordin February 1, 2012 / 1:39 am

    Is anyone really surprised that B&N is doing this, and can anyone blame B&N for doing it? I don’t blame B&N. Amazon made a move to hit B&N with Select, so now B&N is reacting in a way (that I think) makes the most sense. And since Amazon has proven it’ll flip flop as soon as it’s convenient for them, why would B&N trust Amazon as a publisher? I’m not trying to hate on Amazon. I’m just looking at it from B&N’s perspective, and I see why they’re doing this.

  2. ChristinaLi February 1, 2012 / 6:40 am

    When I saw the news it struck me the same way. I get that Amazon wants business, but I think it’s not good business. If you offer a great quality product, why are you trying to push out your competition? Isn’t competition good for increased quality as well as increased customer satisfaction? And shouldn’t that be what good business is all about–win/win for everyone. It concerns me that Amazon seems to want a monopoly. I can’t help but think it will eventually hurt them in the long run. I guess we’ll see. I do hope that CreateSpace titles won’t be taken off B&N’s shelves though. That was part of the reason I opted for expanded distribution. Again, I guess we’ll see.

  3. Ascension For You February 1, 2012 / 7:22 am

    Interesting article Jo!…Begs the question wether or not to use CS at all….gonna have to check this out in depth …see if we can get more feedback from other authors….Amazon-monopoly- .com???? 🙂

  4. maudestandard February 1, 2012 / 1:08 pm

    I just saw the headline in the NYT that Amazon was down a billion dollars in profit.
    I have my ebook at Amazon and B&N. I am fond of B&N. So, I am biased.
    B&N is in talks to get the Nook into Waterstones (sp) in Britain. That would begin the effort to take the Nook international.
    If you have a Pubit book and B&N lowers the price, you still get paid what you would if the price were not changed.
    B&N did the right thing in not stocking the Amazon books in the stores.
    I am just awake and still groggy, so please pardon this rambling comment.

  5. Chip Anderson February 1, 2012 / 5:51 pm

    You wrote this on your phone?
    You must have amazing thumbs!

  6. Theresa M. Moore February 1, 2012 / 8:55 pm

    Why would it hurt Barnes & Noble? B&N has been in business far longer than Amazon. It is also taking steps to keep up with the book and digital format business on its own, and is focused on books, DVDs and music, which is more than I can say about Amazon. There is no competition between the two in terms of customer service, at which B&N excels, while Amazon has to learn English and teach its CS people how to be courteous. I deal with both independently of one or the other. I see it from both sides, so I can assure you that competition between the two is healthy.

  7. John Hayden February 2, 2012 / 1:49 am

    Amazon seems to want to monopolize the book business. I wonder if they will run afoul of antimonopoly laws? Competition is as American as Apple pie, and I’m in favor of it. I want to support B&N because I would hate to see their wonderful bricks and mortar stores close. Also, I want to support Smashwords, so I’ll think I’ll go for widest distribution, including distribution to Nook via Smashwords.

    In the history of retail sales, some firms become giants and dominate a market for a limited time. A successful niche retailer can stay in business forever, but no retailer ever dominates forever. Remember Woolworth’s? Montgomery Wards? A&P? Sears and Kmart are in decline now. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

  8. Juli Hoffman February 2, 2012 / 3:29 pm

    Interesting! I’m curious as to how this will play out. B&N played second fiddle in Michigan, that is until Borders closed. Borders was based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, so they had the “home team” advantage. I can think of only one brick and mortar B&N even remotely close to me, I’ve only been inside it once, and they’re a good 45 minutes away. I had FOUR Borders Bookstores that were all less than a half hour away. Sad to see them go.

    I’m not a fan of putting all my eggs…err…books, in anyone’s basket! Every region is different. What’s popular in one area, may not be anything in another. Wide distribution is probably the “safest” bet. 🙂

  9. vicky February 5, 2012 / 8:38 pm

    I go with wide distribution. Honestly, I don’t know what to think of this new B&N move. I’m not a huge fan of the Select program but it would be nice to see B&N promote indie authors a lot more than they do. Not all of us are out here throwing up trash books.

    I hope B&N survives and continues to be a competitor to Amazon because right now I sell more books on B&N than I do on the Big A. With my next series, that might change and I may sell more through Amazon. I think 2012 will be an even more interesting year then 2011.

  10. Eve Langlais February 7, 2012 / 8:42 pm

    Barnes and Noble needs to enter the international market if it really wants to compete with Amazon. By limiting themselves to the US only, they are missing out. Amazon doesn’t ultimately care if B&N carries their books or not. If a person wants to read it and B&N won’t stock it, they can order it online very easily and from just about anywhere in the world. The same can’t be said of B&N who won’t even sell ebooks past its US borders. A shame, because I’ve heard great things about the Nook, but as a Canadian, I went with a kindle because Amazon was the one willing to do business with me.

  11. asraidevin February 10, 2012 / 6:40 am

    I dunno, it seems it would have the opposite effect, a lot of Amazon signed authors have big followings, now people will be more or less forced to but from Amazon, and since free shipping starts at $25, I’ll throw some other books in my cart and never have to head to my local bookstore, which would be Chapters-Indigo, which joined B&N in their boycott because Indigo is upset it no longer has a monopoly on Canadian readers.

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